On the death of US “exceptionalism”

Mark Freeman writes: Re. “How Trump destroyed America’s claims to “exceptionalism” ” (Monday) 
Dear Crikey, while there are arguably worse countries that could be the world’s dominant power, I think Bernadette Anvia sees pre-Trump America through rose coloured glasses. From the invasion of the Philipines to the illegal disastrous wars in Vietnam and Iraq, installing and propping up dictators as well as pre-Pearl Harbour isolationism, the U.S. has never been a “spotless city shining on a hill.” 

As for the withdrawal from the Paris climate deal, it seems rather selective to blame it all on Trump. The past three Republican presidents have undermined climate mitigation efforts and the whole party is fervently denialist. I’m an optimist and think that human ingenuity will sooner rather than later leave the deniers and feel good agreements grasping for relevance.  For better or worse America’s non military leadership is well spent. The military dominance remains though and that’s the real problem in the hands of Trump and beyond. 

On the “anarchy” of Tudge, Hunt and Sukkar

Joe Boswell writes: Re. “Tudge, Hunt and Sukkar are not conservatives. They are anarchists.” (Tuesday)

Michael Bradley’s accurate assertion that Tudge, Hunt and Sukkar are anarchists reminded me of a passage in G K Chesterton’s excellent novel The Man Who Was Thursday, first published in 1908. One character fears that anarchy is being being spread by armed mobs of working men. His friend disagrees with scorn:  “So you talk about mobs and the working classes as if they were the question. You’ve got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists; they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn’t; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all…”

The independence of the judiciary and the rule of law are even more fundamental to democracy than suffrage. The Liberal Party’s seditious enthusiasm for undermining these things, backed by relentless campaigns in large sections of the media, threatens the basis of Australian society. It is the antithesis of conservative.  

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Peter Fray
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